B-36 Symposium set for April 23, 24 at Pima Air & Space Museum

A symposium on the history of the B-36 Peacemaker will be held Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, at the Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road. The museum has a B-36 as part of its permanent collection.

Pilots and crewmen of the largest aircraft ever built for the U.S. Air Force will be participating in 90-minute roundtable discussions at 1 pm and 5:30 pm Friday and 10 am and 1 pm Saturday.  Admission to the sessions is free with admission to the museum. There will be reduced admission if you arrive after 4:00 pm on Friday only.  Pizza will be available for purchase between 4 and 5 pm Friday.

B-36 memorabilia will be for sale in the Museum Store.

Discussions will focus on the Cold War missions, 48 hour flights and the challenges of maintaining this huge aircraft.  Participants include former military officers from the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Ellsworth AFB, where the B-36 was housed, and people who worked on the plane at Convair.

The Peacemaker was placed on display at the museum on July 1, 2009.  The B-36 has a 230-foot wingspan and is 162 feet long. It is located on the northwest side of the museum grounds close to Valencia Road. Visitors can walk directly under and around the massive plane. Tram will take visitors to the B-36.

This plane, called the “City of Fort Worth”, is the last B-36 built by Convair at its Fort Worth, Texas plant. It was delivered to the Air Force on August 14, 1954. The plane is owned by the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which assigned the loan of the B-36 to the Pima Air & Space Museum for restoration and public display in June 2005.

It took the museum’s restoration crew, led by Scott Marchand, Director of Collections and Restoration at the Pima Air & Space Museum, four years to restore the aircraft.

The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information, visit pimaair.org.  Admission is $15.50 for adults; $12.75 for Pima County residents and seniors; $9 for children up to age 12; children under 6 are free. For more information visit. pimaair.org